Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump names ex-McConnell aide to lead energy agency for now

By on August 10, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has named a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the short-term leader of the commission that oversees the U.S. power grid.

Neil Chatterjee is McConnell’s longtime energy adviser, and he’ll head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for at least the next few weeks.

Trump is waiting on the Senate to approve his pick as permanent chairman – lawyer Kevin McIntyre.

Chatterjee was sworn as a commissioner this week, along with former Pennsylvania utility regulator Robert Powelson.

With those two on board, there’s now a voting quorum on the five-member panel.

That’s not been the case for months, leaving the commission unable to make decisions on natural gas pipelines and other big projects.

The vacancies have slowed Trump’s pledge to boost energy production and exports.

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, in Fort Calhoun, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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